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Benefits of Access to the Outdoors in the Modern Work Environment

11 January 2023

Most modern offices have started incorporating the outdoors in their overall design. This is mainly because more and more companies have started noticing the significance of incorporating the outdoors into the workplace.

The truth is that we don't spend much time outdoors, especially if we have 9-5 desk jobs. Thanks to our office-based lifestyle, we are not provided with the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and be one with nature. However, now companies have started recognizing how beneficial nature can be in uplifting employees and enhancing their productivity.

Completing some of your tasks outdoors can improve your memory, help you be more productive, and make you feel happier. And there are more benefits to working outdoors than just these. This is why we have compiled this thorough guide that discusses the most significant advantages of working outdoors and some of the tips you can leverage to create a modern work environment that has a good balance between the outdoors and indoors.

Why Companies Should Start Incorporating the Outdoors in Offices

Most of us spend the majority of our day staring at a computer screen for hours on end. However, such sedentary behavior can have a detrimental impact on our overall health, well-being, and productivity. On the other hand, if you bring your work outdoors, you can enjoy a plethora of benefits. Not only can you benefit from an unlimited supply of vitamin D through sunshine, but the fresh air and oxygen are also excellent for your body.

Humans are not designed to be leading a sedentary lifestyle of sitting for hours in front of screens. This is why indulging in such behavior can have a detrimental impact on our health. We must take breaks from such habits by walking outdoors, exercising, or indulging in any other physical activity. If we don't, we can find ourselves on the way to experiencing dire health conditions.

Sitting for hours at a desk job can contribute to increasing weight and developing dangerous health conditions, such as diabetes, heart issues, and cancer. However, when you incorporate some time outdoors through walking, you can curb all of these issues.

Advantages of Working Outdoors

Not only should you be getting out more, but you must also make the effort of incorporating dedicated outdoor time into your daily working habits. Luckily, many offices are already redesigning their spaces to provide better and easier access to the outdoors. For example, Google has created office spaces that bring the outdoors inside with the aim to boost employee performance.

Take a look at the other advantages of working outdoors that employees and companies, in general, can enjoy when they incorporate nature into their office design and give access to outdoor spaces:

Reduces Stress

When you go outdoors during work hours to take a break-even for a small stroll, you stimulate the reward centers of your brain. This, in turn, actually helps lower your stress levels and help you relax. All of this enhances our concentration levels and focus during working.

As a result, the company can benefit from the better performance of employees since they would be more likely to achieve targets and goals efficiently.

Provides an Energy Boost

The fresh air from the outdoors and pure oxygen can actually refresh individuals and help them think clearly. In many ways, this can work as fuel to provide greater energy. As a result, individuals would be better able to tackle difficult assignments with a clearer mind.

Provides Your Eyes and Brain Some Rest

Staring at the screen for hours can easily cause eye strain, headaches, and migraine. This is why taking a break from the screen and resting your eyes by looking at other objects is essential. When employees are provided with a scenic view of the outdoors to look at, they can provide visual relief to their eyes. Doing this also gives your brain a break, which can be helpful when you are working on difficult assignments and projects.

Enhances Your Memory

Time outdoors can enhance your memory, specifically your short-term memory. This is why having an outdoor area in the office can be helpful for employees who have an upcoming presentation since they can take a break outdoors to remember important pointers.

Enhances Mood and Happiness

Spending time outdoors can impact your mood significantly. For example, it helps reduce anxiety levels and enhance one's mood and happiness. Employees can take a break if they feel overwhelmed by walking outdoors, sitting on a bench, or admiring nature. Try taking a deep breath and letting the fresh air enter your lungs. You would be surprised to see the surge of happiness it can provide during work.

Reduced Environmental Impact

Besides helping humans, incorporating nature can also help the environment. For example, you would not be using as much electricity if you are working near the sunlight. It will help reduce your environmental footprint and even lower your bills.

Keeps You Healthy

Overall, incorporating nature in any form in your workplace will help you stay healthy, both mentally and physically. For example, sunshine will provide you with vitamin D can help you fight off multiple illnesses, and contribute to better health. Similarly, taking a break by walking outdoors or watching the scenery in front of you will help give your back and eyes a break from constantly sitting in front of the screen on your desk.

How to Integrate the Outdoors with Work Environment

Now that you know about the incredible advantages of working outdoors, you might be wondering how you can design your office with access to the outdoors. Here are some of the ways you can create a work environment that helps your employees enjoy the outdoors, enhance their productivity, and improve their moods:

Get an L-Shaped Standing Desk

If you already have several windows in your office that provide an excellent view of the outdoors, you can consider installing L-shaped standing desks for employees. It lets you enjoy the view of the outdoors while practicing healthy habits of standing. You should thus install a standing desk right in front of a window.

Such a standing desk is incredibly useful for employees who cannot take frequent breaks in between working. They can prevent the negative effects of sitting for hours by switching to standing while working. The L-shaped standing desk from FlexiSpot is an excellent choice because it helps you do exactly that. It provides maximum stability, durability, and adjustments.

Get Windows

Not many offices can have access to gardens or outdoor areas. However, this problem can be solved by installing multiple large windows throughout the office. This will help sunlight in as well as provide employees with a view to look at when they want to take a break from staring at the screen.

Take Breaks Outside

All employees should ideally be taking breaks at least once an hour while working. During this break, they should take short strolls, exercise, and stretch their bodies. These breaks should be taken outdoors to enjoy the view, take in the fresh air, and get a break from the screen. If possible, you can also consider biking or walking to work.

Host Meetings and Brainstorming Sessions Outdoors

The outdoors typically improves your problem-solving and cognitive skills, which is why it is often a good idea to have meetings and brainstorming sessions outdoors during pleasant weather. Such an environment can also boost creativity, which will help in providing better ideas. Walking in outdoors during a meeting can also boost energy levels.

Put Plants in the Office

Another design tip to incorporate in your office to provide better access to nature is by putting plants in various areas. For example, a small indoor plant on each workstation is a good idea. This adds an excellent aesthetic touch and provides clearer air. It can also be a great object to look at when you want to give your eyes and brain a rest.

Incorporate Natural Materials

One other way of incorporating nature into your work environment is by adding wood, stone, or even water features to the office. This can mimic a feel of the outdoors and provide an aesthetic touch to the office. You can add a water fountain to the office, stone walls at the entrance, and other such features if your budget allows. These can truly make your office a welcoming space while also acting as a relaxing retreat for the employees.

Final Words

Working indoors in a small area where you don't have access to fresh air and sunlight can lead to several adverse health effects for individuals simply because it is an entirely unnatural environment.

Hence, you should consider incorporating bits of nature and the outdoors in your work environment by getting an L-shaped standing desk from FlexiSpot and setting it up in front of a mirror and with indoor plants. You would be surprised to see the incredible benefits it can give you.